HR Academy: Elective Coursework

Training Table ImageFor the new and experienced HR professional alike, this certificate series is designed to provide you with the knowledge, tools and resources you need to manage and lead in the core functions of HR as well as more specialized areas. Each session integrates core HR and leadership principles with real life scenarios, trends and the practical tools and guidance you need to take your HR skills to the next level. Graduates of the Academy gain more confidence in their abilities, perform their jobs at a higher level and are simply happier at work.

To receive an HR Fundamentals certificate, participants must complete 22 credit hours. To receive an HR Professional certificate, participants must complete 36 credit hours. Choose from the list below.

Coming Soon: Classes available by livestream and webinar


101: Employment Law: The Basics

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: September 26, 2019
Salem Session: February 13, 2020

Employment and the laws governing it are confusing. If you don’t know much about these laws, or it has been awhile since you’ve brushed up on your compliance knowledge, this is the class for you! You’ll come away with a good base of knowledge about the current employment laws out there and how those affect your organization’s policies, practices, and procedures.

You’ll learn about:

  • Who is an employee and what creates an employment relationship
  • What is at-will employment
  • What is discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Family and medical leaves
  • ADA
  • Hiring practices
  • Documentation best practices
  • Timing problems that affect employment decisions
  • Risky practices and best practices to avoid lawsuits

102: Employment Law: Beyond the Basics

2 credit hours

Salem Session: April 28, 2020

If you’ve got solid foundation of employment law knowledge and want to dig deeper, this class is for you. Scenario driven, this class focuses on more specific and nuanced employment laws that impact your workplace in light of the current environment. After this class, your foundation will be more complete and you will be able to recognize some of the more complicated employment law-related situations and what to do about them.

You’ll learn about:

  • The rules surrounding non-competes and alternative pre-employment agreements
  • I-9 and work eligibility rules
  • Social media in the workplace
  • Pay equity laws and how they affect your pay practices
  • Current issues with family and medical leave laws
  • Current discrimination and harassment issues
  • Rules that relate to drugs, alcohol, and impairment at work
  • The basics about how the unemployment system works
  • New cases, laws and trends you need to know about

103: Family Leave: Basic Compliance and Administration

2 credit hours

Portland Session: September 5, 2019
Webinar Sessions: October 8, 2019 & March 3, 2020
Salem Session: February 4, 2020

Oregon has A LOT of leave laws. The most complicated of these is family leave – especially for employers with 50 or more employees. If you work in an organization with 25 or more employees, and you have little experience administering family leave, this is the class for you!

You’ll learn about:

  • Which employers are covered by family leave
  • Which employees are eligible for family leave
  • The reasons employees can take family leave
  • How much leave employees get and how to track that leave
  • How employees can request leave and why it isn’t always obvious
  • Required employer notices
  • The rules surrounding medical verifications
  • How to address employee abuse of leave
  • Return to work releases
  • The requirements for reinstating employees

104: Family Leave: Advanced Skills for Family Leave Management

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 22, 2019
Salem Session: March 17, 2020

So you’ve taken Family Leave 103 (or you’re at least not a novice), and you’ve got all the basics down. This session delves into the more complicated issues and problems that come up when administering family leave.

You’ll learn about:

  • Confidentiality rules governing medical information
  • Limits on an employee’s right to reinstatement
  • Issues surrounding the employer requirement to continue insurance benefits
  • How to handle attendance bonuses
  • How family leave needs to be handled when the reason for leave is a workplace injury
  • Special rules covering family members who work for the same employer
  • Special parental leave rules
  • How to handle situations where an employee needs to extend leave
  • What to do when an employee exhausts their leave
  • Your greatest source of liability: supervisors who do not recognize potential leave situations

105: Family Leave: Navigating Complex Scenarios & Other Leave Laws

2 credit hours

Salem Session: April 14, 2020

You’ve either taken our first two family leave classes, or are pretty experienced in family leave –now it’s time to challenge you.

In this last class, we’ll start with a quick review of the family leave rules. Then we will spend the majority of the time working on complicated leave scenarios. These complicated scenarios will put your family leave knowledge to the test! We’ll wrap things up by spending a little bit of time learning about the many other leave laws that affect Oregon employers.

106: Wage and Hour Laws: Paying Your Employees Properly

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 17, 2019
Salem Session: March 12, 2020

Paying your employees properly seems so simple, but wage and hour claims are one of the largest areas of liability for potential employers. The laws are technical and easy to mess up, making it incredibly important for organizations to spend time learning about this area. This class is for the beginner and wage and hour vet alike, as even long-term payroll and HR people who attend this class say they learn new things.

You’ll learn about:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Minimum wage rules
  • The difference between exempt and non-exempt employees and why employers struggle to get this correct
  • The rules regarding overtime and limits on hours worked
  • Properly calculating an employee’s regular rate of pay and overtime
  • What is considered to be compensable time
  • When to pay for on-call time, travel time, and off-the-clock work
  • Wage and hour issues with employees working remotely
  • Rest and meal periods
  • Final paycheck rules
  • Payroll deduction rules

107: Complying with Equal Pay Laws

2 credit hours

Salem Session: April 21, 2020

Equal Pay laws are becoming more common across the U.S. and make compensation an even more complex area to navigate. This session will educate you on the equal pay laws that impact your workplace, your obligations under the laws and provide practical guidance on your next steps to ensure compliance.

You’ll learn about:

  • Oregon and Washington Equal Pay laws
  • Steps required for compliance
  • Other laws impacting equal pay

108: ADA: Disabilities Defined and Basic Employer Obligations

2 credit hours

Portland Session: September 24, 2019
Salem Session: February 11, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that seems simple on the surface, but when you peel back the layers you realize all the complexities that can arise in employment. You also may not realize how many employees in your workplace potentially have disabilities – even if they don’t need an accommodation. If you’re unfamiliar with the ADA, come join us for this informative session where we will help you make sense of the basic tenets of the ADA.

You’ll learn about:

  • How “disability” is defined
  • Employee and employer obligations under the law
  • What the interactive process and a reasonable accommodation is
  • Essential job functions and how they play into the ADA
  • What an accommodation request sounds like and why can it be hard to recognize
  • When an accommodation is unreasonable.

109: ADA: Applying the ADA During the Employment Relationship

2 credit hours

Salem Session: March 19, 2020

In this session we take a closer look at how the ADA applies in specific contexts in the employment relationship. From job posting to termination and everything in between, we’ll cover what you need to know to address these situations as they arise in your workplace.

We’ll also discuss leave under the ADA, light-duty and fitness for duty issues, drugs and alcohol, and how to handle confidential employee medical information.

110: Discipline: Reduce Stress and Get Results

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: October 31, 2019
Salem Session: March 31, 2020

No one looks forward to disciplining employees, but it is necessary at times. Learn how to reduce your stress and anxiety over this important part of the job, while maintaining a positive approach focused on helping employees succeed.

This session is designed to build your confidence and manage risk when it comes to effective discipline through simple and easy to use tools and real life case studies.

You’ll learn about:

  • Steps in positive and effective discipline
  • Do’s and don’ts of discipline
  • How to have a disciplinary conversation
  • Focusing on success and staying positive

111: Making Job Descriptions Compliant, Accurate and Meaningful

2 credit hours

Portland Session: November 12, 2019
Salem Session: April 7, 2020

Job Descriptions are one of the foundations of success for any position within an organization - from the hiring process to performance management to minimizing legal risk.

You’ll learn about:

  • Elements of an effective job description
  • How to draft clear, concise and accurate job descriptions
  • Practical and legal reasons for job descriptions

112: Documentation: Write it Right

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: October 15, 2019
Salem Session: March 10, 2020

Documentation can either save or bury you when it comes to key employee issues such as discipline, performance, advancement opportunities, rewards and terminations. It's not enough to just write something down. What’s written down must be timely, accurate, factual, clear, and concise.

This session is designed to build your confidence and manage risk when it comes to effective documentation through simple and easy to use tools and real life case studies.

You’ll learn about:

  • What, when, why and how to document effectively
  • Avoiding common legal pitfalls

113: Developing and Updating Employee Handbooks

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: September 17, 2019
Salem Session: February 6, 2020

Properly developed and administered, employee handbooks are powerful tools that promote consistency and help reduce risks associated with employee-initiated legal actions. This interactive workshop will provide you the basics for developing or updating your employee handbook, and provide you the chance to review and update policies during the session.

You’ll learn about:

  • Crafting a company-specific document reflecting company standards
  • Avoiding common legal pitfalls
  • Model language

Engagement, Hiring and Retention

114: Recruiting and Attracting Talent

3 credit hours

Portland Session: December 17, 2019
Salem Session: May 5, 2020

With increasing competition for attracting and retaining top talent, making great hiring decisions is no easy task. Candidates are looking in different places and in different ways. Candidate needs and expectations are different than they were in years past. This session will give you practical guidance, insight and tools to help you better attract the talent your organization needs.

You’ll learn about:

  • Strategies to find and hire top talent
  • Identifying how and where candidates are looking (or not)
  • Building your employment brand
  • Drafting more compelling job postings
  • Avoiding common mistakes

115: The Art of Drafting Great Interview Questions

2 credit hours

Portland Session: October 1, 2019
Salem Session: March 3, 2020

This lab-style session will challenge you to become a better interviewer by changing how you prepare for interviews and learning to craft great interview questions by moving beyond knowledge skills and abilities and focusing on native drives and strengths.

You’ll learn about:

  • Behavioral based interviewing
  • Developing candidate profiles
  • How to write interview questions that really work
  • Creating meaningful connections with candidates before the interview

116: Conducting Interviews that Get Results

2 credit hours

Portland Session: November 7, 2019
Salem Session: April 2, 2020

In this session, you will be asked to evaluate your interviewing process and to challenge the traditional approach. Focused on the structure of your interview process, not the interview questions, we will guide you on how your process can help you hire more engaged employees that can actually do the job you’re hiring them to do.

You’ll learn about:

  • Different types of interviews and when each might be appropriate
  • What to do in advance of the interview and setting up for success
  • Interviewing styles and approaches
  • Creative ways to test for actual job skill competency
  • Interpreting interview responses and what to listen for

117: Employee Engagement: Beyond Satisfaction

3 credit hours

Portland Session: November 19, 2019
Salem Session: May 12, 2020

It's no secret that there is a direct link between the performance of an organization, customer satisfaction and loyalty and the engagement of employees. While the main drivers of employee engagement don't change much over time, how we approach them does. Understanding these variations is important to your organization's approach to employee engagement and ensuring your employees have high levels of satisfaction and contribution.

You’ll learn about:

  • Current trends in and drivers of engagement
  • Bottom line impact of an engaged workforce
  • Building engagement at any level
  • AND - the one factor that matters more than anything else

118: Onboarding Employees

3.5 credit hours

Salem Session: September 4, 2019
Eugene Session: February 5, 2020
Portland Session: August 4, 2020

New employees who have a positive onboarding experience are 58% more likely to stay with an organization for three years or longer.

Can you say you have a structured onboarding strategy for every employee and position? This training will support you in taking onboarding to the next level. Learn the difference between onboarding and orientation, how to use job descriptions as pre-hire onboarding and so much more.

Performance Management and Achievement

119: Effective Performance Management and Appraisals

2.5 credit hours

Portland Session: November 27, 2019
Salem Session: March 18, 2020

Most workplaces struggle to find the most effective approach to define, measure and reward great performance. Take the lead on improving your performance culture. In this interactive class, you will assess your current performance management system and learn how to make it more effective, practical and favorably viewed. We’ll also explore cutting edge trends, including moving from formal to informal evaluations and the rise of people analytics.

120: Coaching Skills Bootcamp

3.5 credit hours

Portland Sessions: November 26, 2019 & June 17, 2020
Eugene Session: February 12, 2020
Salem Session: August 19, 2020

The verdict is in: coaching employees yields a high return on investment on multiple fronts, including increasing productivity by 53%, improving customer service by 39%, reducing costs by 23% and increasing profitability by 22%. Unfortunately, few team leaders know where to begin.

In this interactive session, participants will learn how to tap into what truly motivates employees to do great work, how to communicate effectively, and how to create a positive environment that recognizes and plays to the strengths of both individuals and teams.

121: Accountability and Delegation

3 credit hours

Salem Session: September 25, 2019
Portland Session: January 9, 2020
Eugene Session: April 23, 2020

“Lack of accountability” is as common a complaint within organizations, as “needs to delegate” is a common criticism of the managers within them. Did you know that they are interdependent?

In this interactive class we’ll explore the prerequisites for accountability and delegation and the obstacles to their effective execution. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls, such as finger pointing, blame, and micromanagement and focus on the best practices for empowering others to be accountable when performing delegated tasks.

122: Turning Conflict into Teachable Moments

3.5 credit hours

Portland Session: September 11, 2019
Salem Session: February 26, 2020
Eugene Session: August 26, 2020

Establish a culture of constructive problem solving that is positive and proactive.

This training shows participants the importance of dealing constructively with conflict, explores strengths and weaknesses of five approaches to resolution, and discusses strategies to reach win-win solutions.


Elective courses begin this September in Portland and next February in Salem.
Get started toward your certification by registering for the HR Academy Certificate Program at today.


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